There are unexpected things that happen in life that are pretty much never wanted.
Like car trouble.
I thought I had my Sunday planned out well. Everything appeared to be normal when I went to church in the morning, but when I left the parking lot afterward, a little light in the form of a battery popped up. That didn’t seem like a good thing. I called my mom to ask her where I should go to get a battery—we have a car guy, and I wondered if she’d suggest him for something as simple as a battery.
But it wasn’t that simple.
I went to the grocery store because that’s what I usually do on Sundays right after church so I can get what I need, and by the time I’m finished, my favorite froyo place is open. When I pulled in to the parking spot, my steering wheel froze up a bit, and another little light popped up—this one much more daunting. It was an icon of a steering wheel with an exclamation point next to it. A lot of times people use exclamation points when they’re happy and excited. I’m pretty sure a car’s use of an exclamation point is not so jolly. I hoped it was just a fluke, so I turned off my car and went inside to get groceries.
I know some of you are likely judging me for not immediately taking my car to get help. Your judgments will only get worse as this story progresses.
When I came back out to my car, it wouldn’t even start. Instead, it made some weird noise and did nothing. I didn’t know what to do, so I did the only thing that made sense to me: I walked over to the froyo place. After all, I figured this car situation was probably bad and going to suck a lot of energy out of me that day, so I needed to fuel up. I called my mom after I got my yogurt, and she said she and my dad were on the way with jumper cables.
Sadly, the jumper cables didn’t solve my problems. They gave the battery a jump, but the whole power steering thing was still an issue. We called our car guy, Ruben, and he suggested it might be the alternator and not the battery. All I heard when he said that was, “cha-ching.”
My parents drove me home to put my groceries away (did I mention I had stuff melting in the backseat?) and so that I could grab my toolkit. My toolkit didn’t have the ratchet set my dad needed, so my sister and her fiancé, Theo, had to bring one to us. Ruben told us to perform some test of disconnecting the battery and then reconnecting it to try to reset the power steering. That method failed. My dad made me get of out the seat so he could try—because apparently he might have special power steering powers—but that didn’t work, either. So then it was time for our last resort: towing.
This was obviously not the ideal way to spend a day, especially since I don’t have a car now. Well, that’s sort of not true because my sister is letting me borrow her Kia Soul for the day. (She’s a freaking gem.) I feel like this is an understatement of the century, but car troubles are frustrating.
And they remind me a lot of the heartaches we experience.
Sometimes life is tough, and there is a lot of pain involved. It’s difficult to get things going—kind of like when a car won’t start, and the power steering is all out of whack. We’re stuck and need tow trucks to come rescue us. I think those are the times that God sends people we need to be those tow trucks for us—the people who will walk alongside us and will simply be there for us, even if they aren’t actually carrying us.
The good thing about people is that we don’t require jumper cables and new alternators to do what we need to do and be who we need to be. We need love—genuine love.
And that’s stronger and more lasting than any mechanical power you’ll get.